Sir Slick returns to NZ for a let up
Warhorse Sir Slick is finally getting a break, of sorts, before a possible tilt at the Cox Plate.
The New Zealand galloper raced six times in six weeks at the Queensland winter carnival, but will return home to Te Aroha on Sunday.
“He’ll be on the water walking machine every day because he has to be doing something and I will give him six weeks doing that before putting a saddle on him,” trainer Graeme Nicholson said.
Nicholson has been criticised for continually racing Sir Slick, who had his 100th start when a gallant fifth in the Group Two Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
But he is unrepentant, saying the horse thrived on racing.
Sir Slick put in every time in Queensland, running thirds in the Hollindale Cup (1800m), Chairman’s Handicap and Doomben Cup, both over 2020m, before an eighth on a heavy track in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m), sixth in the O’Shea Stakes (2200m) and then fifth in the Cup.
“He did us proud over there. He really thrived. I had to keep the work up to him, because he would have put on three kilograms a day if he wasn’t working,” Nicholson said.
The original plan was for Sir Slick to contest the Singapore Cup but Nicholson was angered when Sydney racing officials left the horse out of a qualifying race for Singapore, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April.
“He was made first emergency and yet he’s won six Group One races and more than $NZ1.7 million in prizemoney while some of the others in the race had only won $100,000,” Nicholson said.
He opted for the Queensland carnival instead and had to pay quite a few late entry fees, but the horse won around $A100,000.
“I thought his run in the Brisbane Cup was terrific. I was a bit worried about it, with the 2400 metres on a heavy track, but his run was huge. (Jockey) Glen Colless said they wouldn’t have seen the arse-end of him if the track was dry,” Nicholson said.
Sir Slick will be aimed at the weight-for-age spring races, the Stoney Bridge Stakes (1600m) and Kelt Capital Stakes (2040m) with the WS Cox Plate (2040m) an appealing target in late October.
“That’s going to be an option for him, it’s a race that should suit him,” Nicholson said.
By Greg Tourelle